The origin of Specialized is a tale worth telling and somewhat indicative of the 1970s era in which it happened. Founder Mike Sinyard fell in love with bicycles while working on them with his dad. Later he did up bikes to sell or ride to attend San Jose State University. On graduation he sold his Volkswagen to fund a bike tour of Europe – it was to be the last car he owned for awhile.

While in Europe, Sinyard bought bike parts home to sell on the Westcoast as he realized Italian components were hard to come by. It was tough initially, cycling to stores with the gear and trying to convince dealers to stock the products. In 1976 he began his first break through production, the Specialized Touring Tire that was designed to handle the roads better. Cyclists loved it and Specialized was in motion.